Government introduces legislation to provide critical support to Canadians and businesses during pandemic

From: Department of Finance Canada

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, introduced Bill C-14, An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic statement tabled in Parliament on November 30, 2020 and other measures. Bill C-14 is an essential step to implement measures from the Fall Economic Statement that would provide assistance to families with young children, support students, and invest in resources to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Bill C-14 includes measures that would:

  • introduce a temporary and immediate support for low- and middle-income families who are entitled to the Canada Child Benefit, totaling up to $1,200 in 2021 for each child under the age of six;
  • ease the financial burden of student debt for up to 1.4 million Canadians by eliminating the interest on repayment of the federal portion of the Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans for one year (2021-22);
  • provide funding of up to $505.7 million as part of the new Safe Long-term Care Fund to support long-term care facilities, including funding to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, outbreaks and deaths in supportive care facilities;
  • provide additional funding of:
    • up to $133 million to support access to virtual care, mental health tools, and substance use programming and
    • up to $262.6 million for a suite of COVID-19 initiatives, including testing, medical research, countermeasures, vaccine funding and developments, border and travel measures and isolation sites;
  • formally provide that an expense, such as rent, can qualify as an eligible expense under the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy when it becomes due so businesses can access the subsidy before the expense is actually paid; and
  • allow the government to continue making the necessary investments to weather the pandemic and support the recovery.

This week’s Fall Economic Statement also outlines a growth plan where the government will invest roughly up to three to four per cent of GDP, between $70 and $100 billion, over three years, to jumpstart Canada’s economy once the virus is under control. In addition to the measures and investments listed above, the government is beginning work to ensure Canada’s economy is resilient, inclusive, and strong for everyone. This includes Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System, programs to support the economy’s green transformation and initiatives to address systemic racism.

Quotes

“Since the onset of COVID-19, we have done whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians and help Canadian businesses weather the storm. The measures and support included in Bill C-14 will further this commitment by providing targeted and meaningful investments to help Canadians who need it most.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

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